Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Aaron Salzburg - July 24, 1984

Role of the Catholic Church in Poland

What about--let me ask you some, uh, did the church play any role in some of the things that happened? Are you familiar with anything that might have happened from the church--the Catholic Church? You mentioned that this fellow was Catholic and...

As far as uh, as far as the Catholic Church--from my own experience their hatred against the Jews were mostly people which were related with the Catholic Church or with the uh, which uh, people which uh, very orthodox Catholics uh, showed more uh, anti-Semitic uh, behavior than uh, those which uh, were atheists. Although there were some priest uh, which uh, they might have been good people. This in particular, ???. The day, when I left--before we left the city--I gave away everything I had left in the house. He could not come in the ghetto--to the ghetto. I could go out to him. Which I did. I gave him a lot of things--tools, clothes, a lot of valuable things. As I was in Skarżysko, in concentrate--in, in the camp, in labor camp, we had some Polish ladies, which for one reason or another went to certain cities where we send them out, where we had friends--Polish friends--to plead for help, which meant piece of bread, a few zlotys--whatever they could have. Uh, we were very desperate for anything to eat. Some brought back some help. This in particular friend of mine--the guy that was brought up in ours--in our house. He was like a child, like a brother to me. As a matter of fact, when I came home from school he used to feed me, [pause] and uh, the day where we bid adieu--where we separated--he kissed my father, he kissed me and when I came to that labor camp and send out a message to the lady to get me some help he would refuse to give me anything. The only answer she had for me, he said, that I didn't leave anything with him, so I don't deserve anything. But thanks God, I made on my own.

When you...

I had another good friend--a Polish fella by the name ???. A carpenter, too. Uh, he was a devoted Polack, fine person. Unfortunately I did not--I wasn't smart enough or just forgot his name. I never appealed to him. I don't know what the answer would have been; however, I did wrote him a letter after the liberation. The letter came from Sweden, and he returned the, the letter and answered--he told me, "It was foolish of you to, to write to ???. You should have known him.'" and uh, he said--he expressed himself in those--this letter--he was the happiest man at the time when he received word that I was alive. That was ???. Polish fellow in his early thirties.

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